Chiapas: FONATUR Receives 14 Proposals for recibe 14 to Build Palenque-Escarcega Stretch of Maya Train

April 5, 2020

tren_mayaPhoto: yoinfluyo.com

The National Tourism Promotion Fund (FONATUR) announced that they received 14 technical and economic proposals from consortiums in Mexico, Latin America, the United States and China for the first section of the Maya Train.

For this first section that goes from Palenque in Chiapas to Escarcega in Campeche, a cost is estimated between 13 to 22 billion pesos. FONATUR calculated that the construction will generate more than 74 thousand jobs.

Fonatur will announce the decisión for the tender for the first section this April 23rd to start work on April 30th, 2020.

“The evaluation of the proposals will be carried out under the criteria of points and percentages, that is, the technical proposal has a weight of 50 points, while the economic proposal is 50 points”, Fonatur explained.

“The scope of the contracts implies the elaboration of the executive project based on the basic engineering provided by FONATUR, supply of materials, construction of platform and railroad, dirt roads, structures, roads, among others, as well as various works”, it added.

For more information in Spanish:

Recibe Fonatur 14 propuestas económicas para tramo 1 de Tren Maya, La Jornada, 1 de abril de 2020

Tramo Palenque-Escárcega del Tren Maya recibe 14 propuestas de construcción, Chiapasparalelo, 3 de abril de 2020

Slim y otros 13 consorcios van por tramo 1 del Tren Maya, Milenio, 1 de abril de 2020

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/National: Petition in Support of Injunction against Maya Train (March 23, 2020)

National: Huge Contrast between Study of Maya Train Commissioned by National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) and Discourse of AMLO Government (March 19, 2020)

National: Federal Judge Halts Indefinitely Construction of Maya Train in Calakmul, Campeche (March 9, 2020)

National/International: Consultation on Maya Train did not Meet International Standards (January 4, 2020)


National: CEMDA Highlights Continued Danger for Environmental Defenders

March 24, 2020

agresiones-ambientalistas.jpg_1348255499@El Economista

On March 17th, the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA) presented a report in which it reiterated the danger that environmental defenders face in Mexico.

Entitled “Report on the Situation of Environmental Human Rights Defenders,” the document highlights that between January 2012 and December 2019, there were 499 attacks against environmental defenders and 83 murders.

According to the report, of the violent actions against defenders, the authorities were responsible for 179 of the attacks – 114 by state governments, 42 by municipal authorities, and 22 by the federal government.

Regarding the role of the State and the conditions of danger, the report stresses that: “Despite the measures that the Mexican State has adopted, it is observed that no progress has been made in the country in a structural change that generates the appropriate and safe conditions for the exercise of the right to defend human rights. Currently, we still find discourses and narratives from the government that disqualify and stigmatize the defense of human rights, which polarizes the perception of society, managing to delegitimize and create a hostile environment so that other attacks can be committed against these people.”

29% of all attacks were related to energy projects. Therefore, it is not surprising that Oaxaca was the state with the highest number of attacks, with 79 cases. Sonora was the second with 49 attacks, and the State of Mexico the third, with 48.

During the year of 2019, the first full year of the Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) government, there were 39 attacks against environmental defenders, 15 of them being murders.

The report includes ten recommendations to guarantee the work of environmental defenders. One of them is to ratify the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Affairs in Latin America (Escazu Agreement), an international treaty that seeks to establish rules for the protection of the environment. 22 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have signed the agreement, including Mexico, but only 6 have ratified it.

For more information in Spanish:

Informe sobre la situación de las personas defensoras de derechos humanos ambientales CEMDA, marzo de 2020.

En México persiste el riesgo para defensores del medio ambiente: Cemda El Proceso, 17 de marzo de 2020.

Hubo 83 asesinatos a defensores ambientales entre 2012 y 2019: Cemda La Jornada, 17 de marzo de 2020.

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Death Threats against Defenders of Life and Territory in Chicomuselo Denounced (February 9, 2020)

Chiapas/International: Urgent Action – Canadian Embassy before Courts for Undue Intervention in Chicomuselo Mining Conflict (March 27, 2019)

National: 21 Environmental Defenders Murdered in 2018 (CEMDA) (April 1, 2019)


Chiapas/National: Petition in Support of Injunction against Maya Train

March 23, 2020

DSCF5674© Sipaz

On March 16th, a press conference was held by the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba), in which members of the Regional Indigenous and Popular Council of Xpujil (CRIPX), the municipal seat of Calakmul, Campeche, were present, as well as members of the Diocese of San Cristobal.

A pronouncement was made whereby they demanded that the federal authorities respect the rights of the Choles, Mayans, Tzotziles and Tzeltal communities affected by the Maya Train megaproject, which have been violated since the informative phase by not complying with international standards and by not presenting a study of the environmental, economic, social and cultural impacts of the projects.

In this sense, the human rights sector of ​​the diocese of San Cristobal launched an initiative in a show of support and solidarity with which 12,124 signatures were collected from 15 municipalities of Chiapas. When delivering, Virginia Diaz Rojas expressed: “we have become aware of the effects that all these projects bring […] In this way we are joining together to face all these projects that come to destroy our Mother Earth, our territories, to our cultures…”. Faced with this response, Ernesto Martinez Jimenez, member of the CRIPX, was very grateful and happy and affirmed that Chiapas was the first state to support them and made a call to the rest of the peninsular states to join the injunction case.

For more information in Spanish:

Comunidades Mayas rechazan megaproyectos que amenazan la Vida(CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 16 de marzo de 2020)

Entregan firmas en solidaridad para juicio de amparo del Tren Maya (La Jornada, 16 de marzo de 2020)

Respaldan chiapanecos suspensión del Tren Maya (Diario de Chiapas, 17 de marzo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ :

National: Huge Contrast between Study of Maya Train Commissioned by National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) and Discourse of AMLO Government (March 19, 2020)

National/International: Consultation on Maya Train did not Meet International Standards (January 4, 2020)

National: Indigenous Consultation Participants Accept Maya Train Project; Convention 169 of ILO not Respected (January 4, 2020)

National: Bidding Process Begins for Maya Train without Previous Consultation with Indigenous Peoples (May 10, 2019)

Mexico: Consultations on Maya Train and Nine “Priority” Projects of New Government (December 13th, 2018)

National: AMLO Announces Consultation for the Construction of the Maya Train (November 14th, 2018)


National: Huge Contrast between Study of Maya Train Commissioned by National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) and Discourse of AMLO Government

March 19, 2020

N-A14-EU090320-11_DrupalMainImagennuevo.var_1583746322@El Universal

On March 9th, the findings of a study commissioned by the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) on the social, economic, and environmental effects of the Maya Train project that were published raised conclusions that are quite different from what AMLO and his administration have expressed on the megaproject.

Titled “Mayan Territories in the Passage of the Train: Current Situation and Foreseeable Risks”, the 26-page document was sent in February to several members of the Federal and state governments involved in the implementation of the Train. On March 9th, the newspaper El Universal published it.

The study concludes among other things that the Mexican government did not comply with international rules regarding indigenous consultation, and that it did not share with the public the impacts that the Maya Train would have. The study also questions the quality of the jobs that the Maya Train will generate, and expresses concern that it could increase illegal activities that often go hand in hand with tourism – such as human trafficking and drug trafficking.

Regarding the government’s proposal to build cities at train stations, or “development centers”, the study states that this plan will generate dispossession of local populations. The research goes further, noting that the project represents a “commitment to the commercial use of the culture of the Maya peoples as an engine for the tourism industry.”

According to collaborators in the elaboration of the document, the study was to be delivered to federal government workers from December 2019, but that the date was delayed several times, until February 28th when they shared it.

Regarding the environment, the collaborators declared that “These ecosystems have been recognized for safeguarding high biodiversity (flora and fauna), having the state, national and international recognition that has allowed the creation of different conservation areas that will suffer alterations (degradation, fragmentation and deforestation) associated with the construction, circulation and development proposed by the Maya Train Project.”

For more information in Spanish:

Contrasta informe de Conacyt sobre Tren Maya con discurso gubernamental El Proceso, 9 de marzo de 2020.

Ocultaron estudio que revela riesgos del Tren Maya para áreas naturales El Universal, 9 de marzo de 2020.

El informe del Conacyt sobre el Tren Maya que el Gobierno intentó ocultar Libre Noticias, 10 de marzo de 2020.

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: Consultation on Maya Train did not Meet International Standards (January 4, 2020)

National: Indigenous Consultation Participants Accept Maya Train Project; Convention 169 of ILO not Respected (January 4, 2020)

National: Bidding Process Begins for Maya Train without Previous Consultation with Indigenous Peoples (May 10, 2019)

Mexico: Consultations on Maya Train and Nine “Priority” Projects of New Government (December 13th, 2018)

National: AMLO Announces Consultation for the Construction of the Maya Train (November 14th, 2018)


National: Historic Women’s Day In Mexico

March 11, 2020

a3b2c9e4-esnrmcqxkaa721uPhoto @ Factor Nueve

On March 8th, within the framework of International Women’s Day, in one of the most dangerous countries in the world for their safety and integrity, Mexican women from all over the nation made history by conducting marches and other types of demonstrations, holding a protest the likes of which had never been seen before to protest for greater equality, respect for their human rights and against gender violence and femicides.

In the capital of the country alone in Mexico City, more than a hundred thousand women, girls, adolescents and grandmothers took to the streets with different marches that came together in the main square of the city. The mobilizations were a significant demonstration that women are no longer willing to continue to tolerate abuse and assault. They also consider that the massive response to the calls shows that in recent years there have been significant changes, in particular, participants stressed that “they took everything from us, even fear.”

On the flagpole of the Zocalo (main square), women put up posters with photos and names of victims of femicide, and also accusations against men for rape and harassment.

Despite the fact that the vast majority of speakers come from the largest cities in the country, the same day indigenous women raised their voices in different states. In Oaxaca, “Mixe, Zapotec, Barreña and Mixtec women carried out a road blockade at kilometer 186 of the Trans-Isthmus highway, near San Juan Guichicovi to demand that the federal government listen to the voice and feelings of the women of the Isthmus in relation to the eventual construction of the interoceanic corridor.”

In Chiapas, as announced, thousands of Zapatistas met in the Caracoles and spoke “of the pain and rage” that have been expressed in two encounters of women organized for this purpose.

For more information in Spanish:

“Canción sin miedo”, el himno feminista mexicano contra los feminicidios que retumbó en el Zócalo y en la marcha (CNN Español, 9 de marzo de 2020)

“Nos quitaron todo, hasta el miedo”: así fue la marcha del 8 de marzo en la CdMx (Milenio, 8 de marzo de 2020)

Esta fue la transmisión especial de Aristegui desde la marcha 8M (Aristegui Noticias, 8 de marzo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/Chiapas: Zapatista Women Will Join National “On the Ninth, No Woman Moves” Strike (March 4, 2020)

National: #UnDíaSinNosotras – National Women’s Strike Convened amid Controversy (February 28, 2020)

Chiapas: “Let’s Talk about Government Programs, Megaprojects and the Effects they Have on the Lives of Indigenous Campesina Women and Communities” Forum Held (February 28, 2020)

Chiapas/International: Second Encounter of Women Who Struggle Held by EZLN (January 13, 2020)

Chiapas: First International Gathering for Politics, Art, Sport and Culture for Women in Struggle (March 27, 2018)


National: Federal Judge Halts Indefinitely Construction of Maya Train in Calakmul, Campeche

March 9, 2020

calakmul@ElEconomista

A federal judge has suspended the construction of any new works in Calakmul, Campeche, including the Maya Train project.

Behind the decision is an injunction presented by the Regional and Popular Council of Xpujil (CRIPX), which represents the interests of the indigenous communities of the Peninsular Mayan people and Ch’ol, in the municipality of Calakmul. The suspension only has jurisdiction in Calakmul, which affects the section of the Maya Train between Bacalar and Escarcega, Campeche.

In her ruling, the judge noted that the suspension will be limited in scope: “it does not prevent the authorities from carrying out administrative acts aimed at carrying out the work, such as: tenders, obtaining environmental permits and any other item; preparation of budgets and projects, etc., because such acts do not entail any imminent damage to the claimant community.”

The legal advisor of the Indigenous and Popular Regional Council of Xpujil, Elisa Cruz Rueda, stressed that, although the resolution is a positive step, its geographical limitations would not allow the protection of indigenous peoples: with this, “it limits the suspension to Calakmul, with that ruling violates the rights of indigenous peoples to the integrity of their territories, their habitat and the exercise of their autonomy and self-determination.”

Regarding the case, on March 5th, the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Indigenous Government Council (CIG) denounced “harassment, intimidation, and aggressions by MORENA members towards fellow CRIPX members.”

At the state level, since February 27th, a Collegiate Court of Campeche prevented the federal government from executing the works of the Maya Train in the municipality of Calakmul, for the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples, and also for environmental reasons.

The injunction was filed on January 14th, when, according to the CRIPZ, the Federal Judicial Branch granted them a provisional suspension of the construction of the “Maya Train Development Project”, which was quickly challenged by the government.

For more information in Spanish:

Revés judicial al Tren Maya en Calakmul La Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2020.

Jueza federal concedió suspensión que frena por tiempo indefinido el Tren Maya en Calakmul, Campeche Infobae, 5 de marzo de 2020.

Conceden suspensión definitiva del Tren Maya en Xpujil, Calakmul El Economista, 4 de marzo de 2020.

Denuncian “acoso y agresiones” de Morena, hacia el CNI en Calakmul, Campeche Pozol Colectivo, 5 de marzo de 2020.

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/Campeche: Injunction against Maya Train Limited to Municipality Calakmul (March 2, 2020)

National/Campeche: Government Denies Reports of Suspension of Maya Train (January 31, 2020)

National/International: Consultation on Maya Train did not Meet International Standards (January 4, 2020)


Chiapas: “Let’s Talk about Government Programs, Megaprojects and the Effects they Have on the Lives of Indigenous Campesina Women and Communities” Forum Held

February 28, 2020

IMG-20200224-WA0020@Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas

On February 20th and 21st, the “Let’s Talk about Government Programs, Megaprojects and the Effects they have on the Lives of Indigenous Campesina Women and Communities” Forum was held at the CIDECI-Unitierra facilities in San Cristobal de Las Casas. More than 120 people from the Highlands, Plains, Jungle and North of Chiapas regions participated

In a final pronouncement, the participants commented that during the Forum they analyzed “the situation that we live in our territories against the implementation of megaprojects undertaken by the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, in complicity with the large transnational companies.” They expressed that they managed to “map the military presence in the territories, the social programs present, the arrival of officials in search of information about our families: number of children, amount of land, number of young people in our homes, among others; which puts us in a situation of uncertainty because we don’t know the purpose of that data.”

They expressed their “total rejection of the megaprojects of destruction and death such as the San Cristobal-Palenque super highway, the privatization of water, mining, as well as the hydroelectric plant, the Maya Train, agricultural programs such as Sembrado Vida that combined with other social programs and the militarization of Chiapas, aim to break the social fabric, divide communities, families and weaken social movements that fight and resist in defense of life, land and territory.”

Women denounced that “assistance programs and projects are reaching our communities, specifically agroindustrial projects aimed mostly at men, excluding us for the simple fact of being women,” in particular the Sembrando Vida Program and other programs aimed at the countryside. “They grant financial support only to men and do not solve family needs; On the contrary, they strengthen male chauvinism, the consumption of alcohol and drugs, generating a significant increase in violence against women and the abandonment of family plots. By prioritizing the programs of the countryside that submit, control, manipulate and decide for the lives of the people, the government manipulates the situation of poverty experienced by hundreds of indigenous and campesino families, turning them into slaves and waiters of the capitalist government. In this way we see how neoliberalism is disrupting community structures, breaking the processes of self-determination and autonomy of the original peoples,” they declared.

They concluded by telling the government that “we are not afraid of their military, that we declare our territories free of megaprojects and military. Despite the criminalization of our partners and social advocates, we will not abandon our struggle, quite the opposite, we will unite our voice, our resistance and rebellion, our anger and our hearts in our struggle that is for life.”

For more information in Spanish:

PRONUNCIAMIENTO EN EL MARCO DEL FORO: “Hablemos sobre los programas de gobierno, megaproyectos y los efectos que tienen en la vida de las mujeres campesinas indígenas y en las comunidades” (23 de febrero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional : se lleva a cabo la asamblea Nacional en Defensa de la Madre Tierra y el Territorio, en la comunidad de Amilcingo, Morelos (February 24, 2020)

National: EZLN and CNI Hold Events on the First Anniversary of the Murder Samir Flores (February 25, 2020)

Chiapas/Mexico: EZLN, CNI and CIG Convene Actions in Defense of Territory and Mother Earth “We Are All Samir” (January 14, 2020)

Chiapas/National: Fourth Assembly of CNI-CIG Held in San Cristobal de Las Casas (January 13, 2020)